Apart from international observers, many have decried the August 9th round of elections in Haiti as being marred by violence and fraud. In this interview, Youseline Augustin Bell of Fanmi Lavalas explains why she’d even call it a “political coup.” Among her reasons are the violence perpetrated mostly by two parties tied to President Martelly and a party backed by former president Préval, which caused some towns to cancel voting altogether.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
“A Political Coup” – Interview with Youseline Augustin Bell, Cap-Haïtien
August 18, 2015
Mdm Youseline Augustin Bell is an educator, psychologist, and attorney. In 1995 together with her husband Bell Angelot they opened the College Bell Angelot in Cap-Haïtien which presently has 1,000 K-12 students. A well known human rights activist and a member of Fanmi Lavalas, Mdm Bell successfully ran for Senator of Haiti Nord in the 2000 elections.
For the past 11 years, Fanmi Lavalas have been prevented from participating in Haiti’s elections, so it was with great hope that Augustin Bell chose once again to run for Senator of Haiti Nord. However as she explains, the legislative elections of 9th August, 2015 were marred by excessive levels of fraud and violence committed in the main, by three parties: President Martelly’s PHTK; presidential candidate, Steeve Khawly’s Bouclier party with close links to Martelly; and Vérité* which is backed by former President René Préval In her words, there was a ‘political coup’.
The kinds of fraud which took place were: the physical prevention of party representatives, Mandataires, from doing their job or by handing out their papers too late; the opening of voting stations for shorter than the designated time, opening late and closing early; armed men entering voting stations [in some cases accompanied by the police] leading to voters fleeing; destroying voting equipment including ballots and boxes, removing them and returning later with full boxes; physical violence including the death and injury of civilians and police. All of the above occurred across the country and in some towns only minimal, or no voting was able to take place.
Click HERE for the full text.